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Grateful Dead Live at Wembley Empire Pool on 1972-04-07

Topics Live concert

Greatest Story Ever Told, Sugaree, Chinatown Shuffle, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Big Boss Man, Black Throated Wind, Loser, Mr. Charlie, Beat It On Down The Line, Tennessee Jed, Playin' In The Band, Casey Jones Truckin'-> Drums-> The Other One-> El Paso-> The Other One-> Wharf Rat, Ramble On Rose, Sugar Magnolia, Not Fade Away-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Not Fade Away, E: One More Saturday Night

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Wembley Empire Pool
Location London, EN

Source Audience: Unknown Mics
Lineage 2 AUD sources: MR> C> CDR + M?> low-gen reel> CDR (see info file)
Taped by
Transferred by


2 AUD sources: MR> C> CDR + M?> low-gen reel> CDR (see info file); mastered by Hanno Bunjes from compilation tape by Uli Teute; Hanno's notes


Reviewer: Chris U. - - March 13, 2015
Subject: yes, the quality of this audience recording ...
... blows.

Thankfully we have the official release in nice quality, readily available as of 2015.

I've seen a couple lists of the best ten shows from the Europe tour that leave this one out. That's a really tough call, I think, but the Dead came out of the gate in England absolutely blazing. None of the Academy of Music shows compare to this.

Obviously the band knew what it was doing: setting the stage for the rest of the tour. So they burned the place down.

40+ year old review of the concert here:

"The main thing is getting off behind the music" – Pigpen

"It is hard to talk about a band that one moment is being led by Garcia to sounds that are a part of pink padded tunnels that spiral down through the back byways of consciousness, and, moments later, follows Bob Weir, breaking into the John Wayne jukebox reality of Marty Robbins' El Paso – 'One day a wild young cowboy came in, wild as wild Texas wind.'"

Reviewer: kochman - - January 24, 2014
Subject: Review done based on Europe 72 Release
I know the AUD of this is a tough listen!

GSET, the first song of the tour… wailing! Bob is on fire, and Jerry is all over it. A+ version
Sugaree is also an A+, for the same reasons as above. The excellent SQ of the source makes me wonder how much some of the shows I’ve been more down on this song have suffered because of SQ issues?
Chinatown Shuffle maintains the energy.
MAMU is a rollicking good time, don’t particularly like Pigpen’s organ work.
China>Rider is going at a nice, fast pace, as has the whole show thus far. While not particularly jammed out, it definitely rocks out.
Big Boss Man is funky and fun. Nice work Pig.
BTW, this is definitely one of the faster paced versions of this song I’ve heard, which makes sense considering the pace of the playing has been great. Bob hits some great, purposely(?) off tune chords in the chorus here and there.
Loser is an A version, landing just short of the illusive X factor, and highly enjoyable. Great Phil work here.
Mr. Charlie features great Jerry during the solo.
BIODTL, ahahaha, after they say “Happy 4th of July”, a subtle joke on two fronts, American Independence from the Crown, and of course, the difference between how Europe/America write their dates… 7/4/72…
TN Jed, all that need be said, A+.
PITB is shorter than it would be for most of the era, but the jam is intense and driven. A+.
Casey Jones

Truckin’Drums>TOO>El Paso>TOO>Wharf Rat
Truckin’ begins our tour through the meat sequence in style. Jerry has a great tone and pushes the high notes in places he often doesn’t later. While the build up lacks the clear explosion, the upside is it takes a steady free form jam out of it that eventually moves to drums. Phil bombs us into a ripping TOO. At the 5 minute mark we slow down and lose the theme, heading into somewhere spacey and calm. This doesn’t last long as they head right back to the theme, I believe the reason is Jerry just couldn’t remain calm this night. The rush through the verse and into a Jerry led jam that is theme-less and dark. Phil is pushing the dark angle well. Just before the 15 minute mark they start into a nice jam that has touches of the theme again, but mainly just grooves with some serious Phil, Bob and Jerry, which then falls into space again, and sensing that something needed to be done, a raspy Bobby starts the rhythm of El Paso. The rest of the band joins him for a nice ride through the badlands, before delving back into TOO, again at Bob’s command. There’s a hint of a Spanish Jam, again from Bob, but the band doesn’t take the bait. They take their time getting to the 2nd verse, and we immediately land in a soulful and intense Wharf Rat that has a nice outro jam to it. Great meat sequence.
Ramble On
Sugar Magnolia has a nice wah effect in SSDD.
Billy makes the call, and Buddy Holly it is. Great GDTRFB nestled in this sandwich.

Encore: OMSN, as usual. This is the one that made Steppin’ Out, so… yeah.

Performance Summary
The first set, first show of the legendary tour, and from the first song they are blazing. The 2nd set picks up right where they left off, all the water in the gigantic, empire sized pool steams away, and they are left playing on the bottom of the now empty pool.

Sound Quality
A+ to the Europe 72 recording.
Reviewer: njpg - - April 7, 2013
Subject: -
Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - - October 15, 2012
Subject: Now that we have the official SBD...
This show has one of the best First Sets of the early 70s.

The 1st E72 show. Note the super long 1st set as a result. There are so many good shows from E72, making it hard for just one to stand out, but how many have been represented on three albums? (This show is on E72 Complete, E72 Vol2 and Steppin' Out, though the latter actually used the lesser second set). It's charged with the energy of being the opening night, an energy which carried over to the more-renowned following night. The next night may be better overall but for one of the greatest first sets of '72 you want this show. This was the first of three trips to England in just two months, for a total of 8 English shows (the final shows were added as an apology to playing an arena! They played this 12000-seater due to the closure of the Rainbow).

Greatest Story starts the first set with a bang and the peppy pace pushes right through the set. One of the first Chinatowns clarifies how it morphed into US Blues. Uncle is so good that it must have hurt not to include it on the original Europe 72 (they couldn't repeat any from Skull Fuck because that was the current LP at the time - though Garcia's solo album had also since been released, even if it was a rarity in the UK. This Uncle was used, however, on E72v.2). The original triple LP used nothing from this show though it used one from the folowing night. Shame. China>Rider is absolute insanity - such a stellar version it almost brings me to tears. In the 80s/90s, a peak like this would have signaled the end of the 1st Set and must have seemed that way to the uninitiated Brits (whom would not have been familiar with most of the material, as is apparent on the AUDs). When the band kept playin' on British skullcaps must have exploded. I wonder how many came the next night or went up to Newcastle (or even on to the continent). On the Europe 72 Complete set for this show Big Boss Man is missing the last minute so you have to go to the AUDs. Black-throated Wind has a pop that it never had with two drummers and that went missing by the 80s. This song was a piss-break for me back in the day but I'd have been glued to a '72. Loser was probably improved when Phil stopped singing but here...Phil sings! Mr Charlie r e a l l y f r e a k i n p o p s. Where was this pop a year later and why wasn't this version used instead of 5/23 for E72? I'm not sure a better BioDtL exists (I'll grant you that there were several great ones from the 17 on this tour)! Tennessee is a mind-blower. It should have never lost this tempo and, again, why not this version instead of all the Paris stuff on E72? The set then falls to merely average but you have to go to the AUDs again for Casey Jones, the only place it exists. It's interesting that the two AUDs in circulation are of notably lesser quality than what circulates from American shows of the year. Perhaps an example, between the two countries, of:
a)the interest of bootleggers
b)the available technology
c)the level of fandom at the time
Regardless, Brits were handed one of the best first sets of the early 70s.

The first half of the average (for 72) second set was miscreantly used for Steppin Out and others were used for E72v2, e.g. Truckin', used on both, though there are better ones from the tour (the same mistake the first E72 also made, in using 5/26). Drums comes right after the first song (with stand-alone songs appearing later in the set); not a 72 highlight in general, but Bill's better here. A 33-minute Other One (with an El Paso in the middle) was better elsewhere on this tour (5/3, 5/26, a couple others) but the segue out of El Paso is funny in its un-deadness (everybody but Bobby just jumps). Set highlight Sugar Mag is another that benefits from a sole drummer and the version here is better than the one from Paris used on E72 (there were 21 on this tour).

1st Set:  A+
2nd Set: C+
Overall: 4 1/2 stars*

Show Highlights:
Entire 1st Set with landmark versions of:
Me & My Uncle
China Cat>Rider
Mr Charlie
Beat it On Down
Tennessee Jed
Sugar Magnolia
Goin' Down the Road (best-of-tour contender)
One More Saturday Night

Best Sources:
The sirmick.31329 is best for the missing minute of Big Boss Man but hanno.6161 is the better source for the missing Casey Jones.

*for the show, not the AUD. With the amount of sources we have today compared to the cassette era it's more useful to review shows than sources
Reviewer: jjf47 - - April 8, 2012
Subject: someone does have a mic up his or her ass
and it was tuff listening to this show from beginning to end. there were moments when he or she must have bend over for some reason danced or yawned or something or all three at different times throughout the show for the sound was clear sometimes then off then on then off then normal then stereo momo quadrophonic then up the ass again never really consistent for an length of time. I have to admit for once every reviewer made a bit of sense. what can one say but yes the dead put on a good show as usual. whoever was doing all the whistling next time take the mic out of the ass of whoever was stanidng next to you cause it sure sounded like whoever it was had to be standing pretty much close to you cause that was pretty much the clearest sound of the whole show. unless it was the whistler himself then he was whistling through his ass with the mic down his throat. either way, there's two different downloads of the show, unless both persons were one and the same person, that must be something privy to England - recording with mics up one's ass. it's no one wonder it's called golly ole england. i'll give the show a three just because through all the shit the mic was surrounded by the dead still performed up to par and you can't fault them because of some one or two lazy assholes getting his or her or their jollys off by putting the mic up his or her ass.
Reviewer: Cliff Hucker - - October 22, 2010
Subject: Sirmick remaster is a touch better then Hanno/Uli
"THE DEAD STORM BRITAIN" Melody Maker Magazine

This is a difficult show to score. Both audience sources archived here are extremely poor in sound quality, rendering both transfers virtually unlistenable. Perhaps due to Wembley being a "chilly, cavernous sports facility" this performance is not of the same caliber as many of the subsequent performances. But despite it's rather poor reputation, the music available from vault reel sources is excellent, particularly the jam suite on disk three of the Steppin' Out release.

The first set is unremarkable, with the exception of a well played China/Rider. The second set kicks off with an excellent performance of Truckin' that includes a very nice Garcia solo. After a drum break, it segues into a superb Other One featuring a brief Me and My Uncle Jam and a very nice melodic space segment. The reprise gets quite jazzy and there is some marvelous interplay between Jerry and Keith before the second verse.

Athough quite a few of the following shows on the tour feature more spectacular performances of The Other One, this one is certainly worthy of its inclusion on the official release.
(92 pts*)

*If this performance was released in its entirety from vault reel masters it would garner a score in the mid-nineties!
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - - October 22, 2010
lucky the best part of this show is preserved on Steppin' Out in glorious SBD!

the Truckin'>Drums>TOO>El Paso>TOO from this show is spellbinding, one of my favorite ever and one of the best of euro '72. I was listening to this sequence again today for the first time in a while and i was just blown away.

both Truckin' and TOO are very intense performances with fluid, turn on a dime movements... no doubt in part b/c of Billy's other-worldly drumming. there is a distinct caution tease by Phil toward the end of the first O1 too.

this show and 4/8 have the best music on the official release!

**five stars for the performance, not this recording!**
Reviewer: hampton87 - - March 6, 2010
Subject: why the booing during playin?
ok, i think i might know what happened...a bunch of dead bloaks sitting in the rafters or in the pool with one of those old sony portable tape recorders with the pin hole opening sitting together...i'm going to offset my rating a bit too, but the crowd banter is excellent sounding
Reviewer: wtp024 - - July 6, 2009
Subject: excellent show
this is an excellent show. the other one is crazy... and the sound is not as bad as everyone on here says. let's rate the show.. not the sound! you're ears adjust to it fairly quickly.
Reviewer: cb18201 - - March 2, 2009
Subject: nice
thanks for the links. if anyone has a sbd of this show please email me at ive been looking for a sbd copy of this show forever. the only songs i have are the ones from my steppin out cd but after hearin a bunch of the songs in the links below now i really want a copy.
Reviewer: Jerrob Hungar - - November 29, 2008
Subject: Apologies...pity you can't edit these things!
1 Greatest Story Ever Told -
2 Sugaree -
3 Chinatown Shuffle -
4 China Cat Sunflower -
5 I Know You Rider -
6 Big Boss Man
7 Black Throated Wind
8 Loser -
9 Mr. Charlie -
10 Tennessee Jed
11 Playin' In The Band -
12 Casey Jones
13 Truckin' - Steppin Out - cd3
14 Drums - Steppin Out - cd3
15 The Other One - Steppin Out - cd3
16 El Paso - Steppin Out - cd3
17 The Other One - Steppin Out - cd3
18 Wharf Rat - Steppin Out - cd3
19 Ramble On Rose -
20 Sugar Magnolia -
21 Not Fade Away -
22 Beat It On Down The Line
23 Not Fade Away
24 One More Saturday Night - Steppin Out - cd3
Reviewer: Tidewater four ten O nine - - November 29, 2008
Subject: If you can do better ..............
Hi 'SM' ..........

well, if you can do better (e.g. you've got a five star soundboard in your possession), post it here and the beers are on me ......... for life !!!!!

I know what you mean but, as I wasn't there (still a babe in arms) and there is nothing else available, this is all there is as a record of a historic gig i.e. better than nothing.

Easy to knock, not so easy to ........ how shall we say? ......... be a bit more constructive.


Reviewer: smgarcia - - November 28, 2008
Subject: This is horrible
Any number of analogies would suffice:

1) the taper fell on the mic, got stuck up his butt, and recorded the entire show with the mic in his colon;

2) the taper was banned from the venue, climbed onto the roof of the stadium, and recorded it way up there;

3) the taper recorded the concert next to a gas-electric generator;

4) the taper never went to the concert and recorded it from rooftop 1/2 mile away;

5) the taper used a shitty child microphone that has no phase discrimination nor wide frequency detection;

6) the taper stuck the mic up his butt for the entire show;

7) the taper was caught wanking in the corner and was throw in the Wembley prison cell with 2 feet of cement on all sides, yet he still continued to tape the show through the concrete while wanking;

8) the taper sat next to the Wembley ventilation system and had the bright idea of recording the concert;

9) the taper smoked some crack laced with LSD and amphetamine, stuck the mic up his butt, and recorded the show;

10) the taper recorded the show 20 feet under the thames river.

Man this is bad.
Reviewer: gratefulbrad95 - - November 12, 2006
Subject: Words Cannot Describe This
Absolutely unlistenable. The only reason I'm downloading this, is to finish off my Euro '72 collection. It's so bad, I could taste vomit in the back of my throat & my dog left the room. For hardcores only...
Reviewer: 97phunkJUNKIE - - September 8, 2006
Subject: it really is that bad...
I had to listen after I read the reviews- but they were being very generous when they said it was awful. Fitting for the venue, it sounds like it was taped from the bottom of a pool.
Reviewer: skuzzlebutt - - April 20, 2006
Subject: Painful to listen to
Pee-u! I enjoy adding to my collection as much as the next guy but tapes like this are where I draw the line. This is truly a horrible listening experience. I've never understood this weird compulsion to have absolutely everything regardless of sound quality (although if that's your bag, rock on, brother). When the sound is this bad, you're really not getting anything even close to what the audience heard. It's not an accurate representation of the event, so why bother, especially with all the hundreds of other great sounding shows out there?

On the other hand, I'd take this over most anything from '95 ;-)
Reviewer: phleshy - - June 26, 2005
Subject: Shitty quality.
After re-examining these two AUD masters, it's perhaps not quite as bad as I first thought. It starts off awful, I'll give you that, but the first AUD source is listenable, IMO. Don't get me wrong, it's not a good recording, but it'll do until we have a SBD on our hands. Unfortunately, the second AUD patch through drums and the first part of TOO is STUNNINGLY awful. Thank God that The Other One>Wharf Rat is on Steppin' Out in fantastic SBD quality.

However, this is definitely not recommended for the casual observer or a novice GD collector. The performance is excellent, however, and is worth getting for diehards (like me) despite the quality.
Reviewer: toast6977 - - April 14, 2005
Subject: no seriously
was someone intending this to be a joke or something! sounds like the taper left his gear out at the car with it turned on. seriously. the 1 star i gave it was because there is no star for -5
Reviewer: spleenboy - - February 5, 2005
Subject: Redeeming Value?
Could a recording this poor have any redeeming value? Certainly, if like in my case, I am interested in hearing every show of the Europe of 72 tour. Those shows had a rare quality. So I'm going to tough it out, EQ it to heck, and let my nervous system's filter make its adjustments... The hope is that someone out there has the SB, and is willing to post it up. Only the faithful would care.
Reviewer: phishphreak81686 - - January 25, 2005
Subject: Sound Quality
Shitty sound quality. Not worth the download, id give this lower than a 1 if i could
Reviewer: Tampa Red - - April 15, 2004
Subject: Unfortunately, the sound is terrible
This show is only available in what is perhaps the worst quality of any Dead recording. The first of the two audience sources is absolutely horrendous. The scary thing is, it's the BETTER of the two! Definitely for completists only.
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